About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

J is for Jig-toy

When I last looked at these back in 2008 I said we'd come back to them, and here we are - doing so! But these aren't the ones I was thinking of at the time, which are now in storage, these are some I photographed at Sandown park last Saturday (pine backgrounds), or that have come into the collection in the last year or two (black backgrounds), so we will come back to them again!

If you click on the above link, this post will reappear at the top as it's the same search tag.

 When we looked at them last time (days after I started the Blog!) I stated that Bell/Merit went from phenolic plastics to ethylene leaving Hong Kong to styrene (although pointing out that Peter Pan also used polystyrene), it's now clear that some intermediate J&L Randall stuff was styrene as well, such as with this helicopter - lower shots.

The upper image is two of the Kellogg's freebies, being copies of a Merit helicopter and a donkey/pony/foal/zebra? This is missing its ears, as was the one we looked at way back when, as are all my examples and most of those (of these) I've ever seen, it slots/clips into the little chink at the bridge of the nose and is easily lost. I would imagine 99% of the ears that ever left a factory have been found by vacuum cleaners and were sent to landfill/incineration decades ago!

These are all in the style of Kellogg's issues, but two of them probably aren't Kellogg's; the Fire Engine which is a Hong Kong copy and the two-tone car. The other three are Kellogg's. The car was one of the puzzles copied by an - as yet - unknown (by me) Hungarian maker during the days of the Cold War in polystyrene, along with a tilted army-truck.

Two of my favourites, the little tank has a stump for a gun-barrel, and a very simple action which is not so much puzzle as a click-together! But I keep buying them when I see them in order to make single colour ones from all the pieces- I've now got enough for an all-red one!

The rocket I'm really pleased with, it was not a lot, despite all space-themed toys commanding an unnecessary - in my opinion - premium just for being 'space' toys, and although styrene, I think it's quite early. Like the tank its mechanism is not so puzzle-like, and it's a bit loose and floppy, but for 50's pulp, it hits the spot.

We've looked at most of these before, but you can't have too many! I wonder if the duck/penguin thing is a cartoon character of the time (1950-60's), I'm pretty sure I've seen other toys/playthings in a similar style/shape? In the version found in America and those from Hong Kong he has an obvious duck's beak and is wearing a top-hat, but an early version with a thermo-printed face on what is otherwise a bowling-pin with feet was called Smook...does that mean anything to anyone?

The car is a new design on the blog, while the Scottie-dog is similar to both the elephant we looked at last time and a cat still waiting in the wings, but has a different part-order to the elephant. The cowboy is another favourite and this is an earlier version, as are all this group - bar the dog.

On the left are comparisons between ethylene, one-colour (Kellogg's) and styrene versions, which may or may not be Merit originals. The tractor is also Merit; a David Brown and the metallic mauve section is very unusual. The exhaust stack is broken and a slot on the seat hints at a driver figure I've never seen...maybe it was considered and then dropped?

The wagon, this is probably a Kellogg's one, there are so many differences with these it's hard to know what's what, I have several and the side detailing is different on all of them, so even if the Kellogg's supplier had several different cavities in the mould, it can't explain all of them.


Covered Wagon - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Covered Wagon - polystyrene - Merit
Covered Wagon - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959 and 1970
Steam locomotive - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Aeroplane (twin-engine) - polystyrene - Merit
Aeroplane (twin-engine) - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959
Aeroplane ('lolly-stick wings) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Aeroplane (simplified version of above) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Aeroplane (egg-shaped) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Jet Fighter - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Nic-Nak Novelties (Freeport, NY)
Jet Fighter - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Space Rocket - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Space Rocket - polystyrene - Merit
Flat-bed Lorry (Guy/ERF flat-fronted cab) - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959
Tipper-Lorry (Volvo long-bonnet cab) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Tilted Lorry (Mercedes/Tatra rounded cab) - polystyrene - Hungarian and Hong Kong (Puzzle Top)
Ocean Liner - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959 (might be the same as the next listing)
Ocean Cruiser - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1970
Destroyer - polystyrene - Merit and Albers Carnation (Men of Annapolis)
Battleship - polystyrene - Fairylite (larger puzzle)
River Ferry (two stacks) - polystyrene - Best (Hong Kong) and Lionel (US)
Ocean Liner (simplified version of above with one stack) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
River Cruiser - polystyrene - Hong Kong (like Monopoly boat)
Helicopter - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Helicopter - polystyrene - Merit
Helicopter - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959
Jeep - polystyrene - Merit
Jeep - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1959 and 1970
Tractor - polystyrene - Merit
Tractor - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1970
Saloon Car - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1970
Sports Car - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Sports Car - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Racing Car with Driver - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Racing Car with Driver - polystyrene - (Hong Kong?)
Racing Car (large cart with driver) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Racing Cart (looks like shoe!) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Old Fashioned Car - polystyrene - Lionel (and Fairylite? Larger puzzle)
Jeep - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1970
Artillery Gun (25lbr?)  - polystyrene - Merit 
Artillery Gun (25lbr?) - polystyrene - Hong Kong (Action Puzzle)
Artillery Gun (6" Howitzer?) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Fire Engine - polystyrene - Merit
Fire Engine - polyethylene - Hong Kong
Fire Engine - polystyrene - Hong Kong (usually single colour; pink or red)
Motorcycle Cop - polystyrene - Peter Pan Playthings

Animal and Figural
Cat (in profile) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Cat (in profile) - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong
Elephant (chunk) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - (Bell/Merit?)
Elephant (chunk) - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong
Elephant (running) - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong
Scotty-dog (chunk)  - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Scotty-dog (chunk) - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong
Scotty-dog (chunk) - polystyrene -Roddy (Southport, UK)
Scotty-dog (chunk - scaled-down version of above) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Bulldog (in profile) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Bulldog (in profile) - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong 
Long-nosed Puppy (chunk) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Dolphin - polystyrene (?) - (Fairylite? large puzzle)
Owl - polystyrene - Hungarian
Smook (printed face) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - (US make?)
Duck/Penguin (small beak) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Duck (large beak) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Horse/Donkey/Pony/Zebra (..of Troy?) - polyethylene - Kellogg's 1970
Cowboy on Bucking Bronco - polystyrene - US make and Hong Kong
Indian on Bucking Bronco - polystyrene - US make and Hong Kong
Indian on Standing Horse - polystyrene - Hong Kong (Chemtoy)
Cowgirl on Trotting Horse - polystyrene - US make and Hong Kong
Cowboy/Mexican on chunky horse - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - (Bell/Merit?)
Cowboy/Mexican on chunky horse (with pigs head/face) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin (US make?)
Cowboy/Mexican on chunky horse - Hong Kong
Baseball Hitter / Baseball Player - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Wrestler  - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit (and US make?)
Wrestler - polystyrene - Merit and Hong Kong (and US make?)
Wrestler (scaled-down version of above) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Robot - polystyrene - Hong Kong

Ray Gun (side-arm with telescopic sights) - polystyrene - Merit
Ray Gun (egg/rocket-shaped side-arm) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Ray Gun (really fat side-arm) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Ray Gun (clear sleeve over barrel, side-am) - polystyrene - Hong Kong (in capsule egg)
Ray gun (rifle) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Tommy Gun (Thompson SMG) - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Revolver / 6-gun- cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Revolver / 6-gun - polystyrene - Hong Kong

Geometric and Objects
Cube - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Ball (large) - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit
Ball (small, on lucky-horseshoe key-chain) - polystyrene - Peter Pan Playthings
Football (as above but sections arranged in football 'patches') - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Heart Shape - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Rugby Ball - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Egg - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Bowling Pin - polystyrene - Hong Kong
Pressing Iron / Steam iron - cellulose acetate/phenolic resin - Bell/Merit

Puzzle Puzzles (not really Jig-toys as they are sealed-units)
Rubik's Cube (3x3x3 cubes) - polystyrene - Hong Kong and Hungary
Rubik's Triple (3 in-line cubes) -polystyrene - Hong Kong and Hungary
Rubik's Drum - polystyrene - Hong Kong and Hungary
Rubik's Mini-Babylon (sliding balls) - polystyrene - Hong Kong and Hungary ('Magic Tower')
Ball (spherical version of Rubik's cube) - polystyrene - Hong Kong

Only one or two of these (following collage) are mine, the rest are hoovered-off the Internet for the archive, while they were all copyright-free or lacking any obvious copyright, I present them for research purposes, small, and cut-up to help you with the above list, not to be of commercial use to anyone.

We will return to these one day, as they are a favoured side-collection of mine and I will photograph most of the rest in close-up then!

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